Foreign Policy Blogs

FPA’s Must Reads (June 21-28)

President Obama is pictured at the 'door of no return' as he visits the Maison Des Esclaves, the gathering point where African slaves were shipped west until the mid-19th century, at Goree Island near Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013. [REUTERS/Jason Reed]

President Obama is pictured at the ‘door of no return’ as he visits the Maison Des Ecslaves, the gathering point where African slaves were shipped west until the mid-19th century, at Goree Island near Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013. [REUTERS/Jason Reed]

The Inside Story of Russia’s Fight to Keep the U.N. Corrupt
By Colum Lynch
Foreign Policy

For the past decade, Russia has attempted to stall the push to root out corruption in U.N. spending. Whether out of commercial or political interests, Russia has pushed out reformers, blocked budgetary reform and butted out watchdogs. Lynch reports on a U.N. audit obtained by Foreign Policy detailing the Russians attempts to quash competition in the U.N.’s procurement department.

How Moscow’s Preoccupation with Sochi Tourism May Hurt Stability in the North Caucasus
By Ronan Keenan
The Atlantic

Russia’s bold attempt to rid the Caucasus of instability — that is, by boosting tourism in the region and hosting the Olympics — may been causing that which it seeks to combat. Now what is probably a well-intentioned attempt to deter radicalization by creating jobs and improving socio-economic standing is just becoming another way of masking the region’s problems.

Fake It Till You Make It
By Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman
Foreign Affairs

Is China’s counterfeit economy unfairly maligned? As American business people and politicians fret over the costs of intellectual property violations, Raustiala and Sprigman argue that the diplomatic and political capital the U.S. is pushing into trying to stop the counterfeit economy is not only misplaced, but also may block creativity.

The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis
By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

Although they were once viewed as the glue that holds the financial industry together, ratings groups such as Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s have been suspected of triggering the 2007-2008 financial crisis for some time. Now with the release of thousands of documents from both agencies after a pair of major lawsuits, it’s becoming clearer and clearer how destructive their role was — and how they did it.

Los Infiltradores
By Michael May
American Prospect

May tells the story of three young activists who intentionally get arrested to expose injustices in immigrant detention, using their undocumented status to their advantage. A radio version of the story also appeared on NPR’s This American Life here.


Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria by Scott Monje
Early South Africa Observations by Derek Catsam
U.S. Lessons for Europe’s Federalists? by Michael Crowley
Super Angry Geeks Versus “The Man” by Oliver Barrett
Snowden, Putin, sheared pigs and the joys of Whataboutism by Vadim Nikitin



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